|Author: Sasaki Ichiro
|Original Source: Syosetu
|English Source: Re:Library
“If so, then I won’t be the one to unbind you. It will be done by Lana—the beastfolk child. Would you say a beastfolk is more trustworthy than a human?”
“…And what if I take her hostage? Though, I suppose a slave isn’t much of a hostage.”
I responded to her provocation in a matter-of-fact tone.
“Should you be the kind of elf to take a child hostage, you would face my contempt. My plan is to cut your binds and treat your wounds before dropping you off in a safe place. However, you should know that she is my ‘sister.’ Should you harm her, you would incur my wrath.”
“…Is she not your property?”
“She isn’t. She is family I cherish much.”
I could see she was doubting me. I shifted my gaze from the bound elf girl to the girls behind me.
“Eren, could you please light the furnace? I’m getting cold. And Lana, could you cut the straps that are binding this elf girl?”
I pulled out the dragonfang short sword from my Close Art and handed it to Lana. Elves are allergic to metal, but this isn’t metal, so it should be fine. (Though I have heard that pure gold and pure silver won’t harm them either, I obviously didn’t bring such gaudy accessories.)
They both nodded without a moment’s hesitation and moved right away. Eren went for the firewood in the corner of the room, while Lana took the shortsword from my hand and walked over to the elf.
The leather straps looked durable, but in the face of the dragonfang sword’s sharpness, they were as good as damp paper. Even Lana’s childish strength was enough to cut the elf girl free.
“…Hey, beastfolk child. What is that human to you?” As she lightly rubbed her wrists, the elf girl asked Lana a question in a language we all spoke. She pointed to me with her chin.
“Lady Jill? Hm… She’s kind, warm, and makes me happy when we’re together.”
She squinted as Lana gave her a carefree smile, then continued to massage her wrists without saying anything further.
“Here you go, Lady Jill.”
When Lana returned safely and handed the short sword back to me, my shoulders relaxed in relief. I gently stroked Lana’s hair with heartfelt thanks.
“I will proceed to treat your wounds. Please don’t move.”
I put away the dragonfang sword, drew my staff, and pointed it at her wounds. The girl seemed reluctant but ultimately agreed.
“「I am the cure to your ailment」” A faint golden light enveloped the elf girl’s body like a veil, centered around her ankle. It shimmered softly. “「Heal」” With that, all her injuries, including the grazes, were healed, leaving not even a scar. The elf girl looked stunned as she traced her newly healed ankle’s smooth skin.
I was also concerned about tetanus, so I used Cure to remove any contaminants, just in case.
After standing up and confirming her ankle felt fine, she looked up at me with a hint of admiration—her eye level was about 20 cm below mine, due to the racial difference.
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“I’m surprised. You’re a ‘Healer,’ aren’t you? I haven’t seen a Healer in a hundred years,” she said, a hint of affection coloring her voice.
“There was a Healer here before?”
“Indeed. I was young back then, and our village was struck by a calamity that nearly wiped us out. Many died, were injured, or fell sick. That’s when a Healer1 wandered in and saved us, leaving without asking for anything in return. That was when I learned there are people outside the village worthy of our respect.”
The elf shared this story with nostalgia. Hearing her, I thought that perhaps it was thanks to this mysterious Healer from 100 years ago that the elves managed to keep their anger in check over the last 30 years. I couldn’t be more thankful to this Healer of the past.
“…You’re quite the marvelous person. You’ve befriended a Divine Beast, you call a beastfolk your family, you speak High Elvish, and you yourself are a Healer. You are different from any human I’ve ever seen. Not to mention, your true appearance as a sylph has told me enough. Your beauty might even rival that of our village chief. To think there would be a day when an elf would be captivated by a human.”
The elf girl expressed her impression with a sigh, which prompted Eren to vigorously nod her head as she tended the fire. Both of them seemed to have misunderstood something, however. I’m utterly ordinary. So I’m a plain ragweed, so what?2
“Well, we’ll settle those details later. For the time being, let’s sit where it’s warm. You should eat something as well.”
“…No need. Besides, unlike you humans, we don’t eat meat or eggs.”
The elf girl turned down my offer curtly, but she still walked over to the furnace. Vier brought over several cut logs from the firewood area, which we used as makeshift seats.
“Thank you, Vier.” As usual, I took out my homemade cookies and fed them to Vier.
I noticed the elf girl’s eyes widen with interest as she watched my hand. “Come to think of it, this should be edible for you. It’s made only with flour, water, and chico nuts. Would you like to try some?” I took out an extra cookie, broke it in half, and ate one half before offering the other to the elf girl.
“Hmm…” She hesitated for a moment, but noticing the curious gazes on her, she adopted a nonchalant demeanor and accepted the cookie, placing it in her mouth. “(Munch) …Hoh. It’s quite good.”
“I’m glad you like it.” Relieved and pleasantly surprised by her praise, I offered her more cookies.
Contrary to what she had said, she must have been hungry. As I handed her a water canteen from my Close Art, I realized I’d been referring to her as ‘the elf girl,’ without using her name.
“Come to think of it, we haven’t introduced ourselves yet, have we? I am Julia Fortuna Brandmüller, but please call me Jill. These girls are Eren Baresi and Lana, and the Divine Beast is Vier.”
“Hmph. I’m Pryui Shiel; you can call me Pryui.”
When Pryui—whose name means ‘Rainy Sky’3 in Elvish—proudly stated her name as she washed down the cookies with water, I felt an inexplicable warmth in my chest, as if I had just succeeded in taming a wild beast.